How many times have we read an article that said “meetings suck”? Or “screw meetings”?
Sure, there’s plenty of reason to have hatred of certain meetings — that is, bad meetings. But meetings, used and designed well, can be an amazing facet to organizational theory and life.
Do you ever take your car into the mechanic? Do you have the wheels aligned? Of course.
What would happen if we didn’t? Our would car runs awkwardly, tires wear out faster and you would need to replace them (metaphorically speaking, we would need to hire more people to replace the ones we lost). The same thing is true for meetings. They can, when used appropriately, be amazing at aligning your team, your company toward the mission.
There are plenty of companies experimenting with standing Slack meetings, daily blog updates, or some other tool to communicate. And maybe for a few people that works. But, I would argue most of us value face-to-face conversations — we need to see you. Whether body language or vocal tones, we must remember we are all human together and are fighting for our company’s mission through unity.
There is a great book out there called Death By Meeting by Patrick Lencioni. Read it. Poor meetings do need to be obliterated. No question. But just because a company has terrible, no good meetings doesn’t mean meetings should cease to exist. However, they need to be transformed.
So the next time you feel the urge to exhibit dismay due to a meeting, stand up and be an agent of change. That is your goal of the role you’re in; work to effect change in your weekly meeting process. With a well oiled — or well aligned — machine, you can change much. But that requires unity. Meetings — great ones — are part of the way forward.